Welcome back to Having a Debt Free Marriage.
In the first part, I established four steps which are 1. Setting a marriage budget, 2. Pre-selling yourself to your In-laws, 3. Negotiating rightly and 4. Saving years ahead for the marriage project.
If you missed it, please follow this link to catch up. https://web.facebook.com/roborbliss1/posts/2032997670291142
Now, let’s continue…
4b. Involve your Spouse in the Saving: There’s no law that said only the man must finance the wedding ceremony. Let your wife contribute as well. I know a lot of people may pull back on this but it is very valid. It’s a team effort. I strongly recommend that both husband and wife ‘to be’ should be active financially. It may not be 50/50 but what if the wife helped out with as little as 10, 20, 30 or even 40%? The burden on the man is reduced and you have a happier marriage. Ladies, don’t spend all you earn on fashion and looks. Save for your marriage too, you’ll earn the respect of your husband more. In my book Money Bliss, I shared how much you must save at every age bracket to enjoy financial bliss. And all is centred on having a plan for every kobo you earn. If you save for every project, you will have financial ease.
5. Choose your crowd wisely: The most expensive part of a wedding ceremony is the reception, so choose a crowd that you can afford. If you’re not careful, you will spend your annual salary if not more on just reception. Be intentional with the number of people you want to attend. On the average, the cost per head in a single ceremony these days is between N1,000 and N5,000. Feeding, Drinks, Hall, Decor, Entertainment and more. So the more people you invite the more you spend. Do you really need your entire clan to attend?
Don’t forget to make room for extras cos there will always be ‘follow comes’ the “owambe” freaks.
6. Be your first Event Planner: I know by now you may start wondering why you should do all these by yourself. Very simple, if someone else does it for you, they will plan it to big or too small. “Na only you know wetin you get for ya akant”. By this I mean, draw your own plan first before you invite a pro or third party. Do you want to have a live band or DJ? Big hall or a small one? What kind of decor do you want? You must set the pace for what you want and can afford first. Sit your spouse down and agree on the hall. The kind of clothing to use. Do you really need to change thrice? I know its a once in a lifetime event but don’t forget no one will remember how glorious your event was in a few months from now. We’ll all forget but you will be paying debts.
What if your parents or you parents-in-law conflict with your plans? No worries find the nearest ‘bus stop to alight’. Push the boundaries, especially if you’re funding most parts.
7. The Aesthetics: When we were planning for our marriage ceremony, my wife and I went around the city looking for a hall. The first hall was 450k, the second was 500k. Later saw one for 250k and guess what the budget was? A maximum of 150k. I knew there was going to be an issue so I went the extra mile, drove around the town until I got a better deal. Next to food and drinks, the highest consuming part of a wedding is the Aesthetics (hall, decoration, photography, makeup and music etc). Don’t go overboard here… Look for moderate rates. Remove some features to cut cost. Get a hall that is accessible, it mustn’t be the most popular or closest. After all most of the attendees will come in their cars. Negotiate everything, look for what you can offer as bait to foster the negotiation.
8. Have an emergency contingency plan: Things can go bad. And trust me, you’ll be disappointed if you don’t have any backups. In my case, I had about 100k untouched as backup funds. After our marriage ceremony, I had some balance left. Before the wedding day, all bills were settled except for the balance of the photographer. During the reception, I transferred the balance to him and soon after that, I left the venue with my bride. Got home, refreshed and did some stress relief exercises. The rest is history today. And I’m ever grateful to God for the wisdom and ability to do all that.
9. Don’t worry about what people will say: In Nigerian ceremonies, there are always complaints of not enough food or drink so you won’t be the first. Ladies and gentlemen, personally, the most important thing is a good home, not the ceremony. People will forget what they ate, drank or how the place looked but you will not forget the stress you went through and no other person is to be blamed for it. You don’t deserve to start your marital journey under pressure of debts and lack. Know what you want, agree with your spouse and just get married.
Like I said in the beginning, if you have the means, do your thing. But I still suggest you be prudent and invest those funds in your marriage, children to come and your life rather than blowing so much in one day.
These steps worked for me and people I’ve shared them with but I also believe there are more.
Do you agree with me? What was your experience and what did I miss? Please share with us in the comments, let’s help some folks get married on the right path.
Till I come your way again,
I Value You!
I’m Robor Bliss, the financial Strategist that helps you plan your finances to enjoy today and have a secured tomorrow.
To be economical with the statistics, more than 60% of couples in Nigeria start their marriage with debts. In fact, some of them pay these debts for years into the marriage and some are still paying today. What I’m about to share with you are tested and proven ways you can start your family debt free and have a debt free marriage.
So I heard you found the man or woman of your dreams and you’re engaged. Congratulations! Now it’s time to plan the wedding. Your destination is Dubai, right? Hehehehe! The Lord is good. It’s a noble thing to celebrate your wedding with friends and family but doing it at the expense of the financial stability of your family doesn’t worth it. But if you have the means, common let’s paint the town red.
Three years ago when I wanted to get married. When I went to tell my uncle and he quoted this scripture for me. “Seek ye first the kingdom of cash and all other things will be added”. Then he asked, do you have the funds to venture into marriage now? I smiled and said yes! Long story short, I got married to my lovely wife and life has been good.
Guess what I did not take any loan from anyone. A few family members sent in gifts and volunteered to do a few things but that was it. I bore the financial consequences. And I can tell you for a fact that the peace and stability with which you start your family matters.
I know couples who started fighting the following week they got married because of money. I’ve heard and I’m sure you would have heard of couples whose marriage didn’t last one year because of ‘money palava’.
The truth is MONEY is a crucial part of marriage and can’t be overlooked.
Are you about getting married but don’t know how to fund it? Here’s how you can do it. –
1. Set a Budget: This is the very first step towards achieving a debt-free wedding ceremony. Sit with your wife/husband to be and agree on the budget. Inquire about the must-do activities and plan them first. In my case, I had my budget in MS Excel and stuck with it dearly. Once you’ve settled the must do’s go to the optional ones. It’s not compulsory to cook all the types of food you have in your village to get married.
2. Pre-sell yourself to your In-laws: Before the marriage talks begin, you have to sell yourself as a SON, not their daughter’s husband. As a man, you’ve got to know how to negotiate and sell rightly to be successful in marriage.
Never put up the wrong impression about yourself to your in-laws before the marriage. While selling yourself, get to know who calls the shots and establish a good rapport with him or her. Is it the dad, mum or uncle that wants to show you pepper?
Know this person beforehand and find their weak spot, who the person listens to or fears. If the man likes to drink, never go to his house without a bottle of his favourite drink. Be his friend and pamper the family before the marriage talks begin.
3. Negotiate Everything: Now that discussion about what is required has started, it’s a good time to show your skills by reducing the list of requirements your in-laws may have imposed on you.
Don’t show off your small money. Tell them you can’t do all except for the “Must Do’s”. There are several ways to do this, but firstly accept the list and go home, cross-check with your budget and sit your spouse to be down to discuss it. Then agree on what you can afford. You can now go back and negotiate. This is where all the good seeds you’ve sown should produce some results.
Sometimes you may do the negotiation yourself or send your spouse to be or even an elderly member of your family. Let her go and cry for her parents, tell them you have big plans for her and the entire family so they should not eat all at once. Sweet talk them till you get a rebate.
4. Save Ahead: I advise you start saving for the marriage project at least 2 years before the time. If you have a budget of 1M for instance, and you save 50k per month, in 20 months, your total marriage bill is covered. See there’s no magic, you’ve got to be very intentional about this.
Saving in instalments for each project helps you have financial ease. What if you save four years ahead? For a budget of 1M, you’ll only need to save N20,833.33 per month. This is the smartest thing to do whether you have fiance/fiancee now or not.
If you start saving for your marriage ceremony today, you will be able to win arguments of “buy me a shoe or human hair” faster. You will also avoid wasteful spending and best of all you will be able to afford your own wedding.
It is a thing of pride to be able to afford your own wedding. And have the donations and support from friends and family as spare funds.
This is getting too long and so I’ll end this first part here, watch for the second part… But in the meantime, lemme know your thoughts in the comment section.
Don’t forget to get a copy of Money Bliss Book where I shared how to save effectively and enjoy the now while securing the future.
Till I come your way again,
I’m Robor Bliss, a financial Strategist. I help individuals plan their Finances to enjoy today and have a secured tomorrow.
Watch out for the concluding part.
Welcome to the 5th day of 2018!
Do you know that by now, some people have exhausted salaries?
Do you know lots of people will take loans here and there to survive till they receive their next pay cheque?
Does this include you?
Well, I hope not but if so, there’s a solution and that is what I will be discussing in this post.
Last night, I received a call from a member of #MoneyBlissAcademy. I was excited when he shared with me testimonials of taking my course on budgeting and how he has been able to track every kobo since then.
But that was not the only reason he called. After all the positive vibes, he said, “Sir, can you believe I have exhausted my salary and I was just paid 4 days ago”.
I smiled and asked if he recorded his expenditures, and his reply was in the affirmative. He again thanked me for the free #MoneyBlissPlanner I gave him.
This guy earns N100k per month and he was paid on the 31st of December, 2017. He was happy he got paid after Christmas because he would have spent all during the festive period. But the bad news is that the whole salary didn’t survive the 4th day of January.
He paid school fees, shopped for the family, repaired his car and that was it. The whole salary was gone without saving not to talk about making an investment.
**As per ethics, I got his approval to share this story without mentioning his name.**
It’s no longer news that the cost of living is so high you can’t survive on only one salary except you’re paid in 7 or 8 figures.
So I wonder how people who earn less than N100k will survive this month and maybe the year.
This is why I’m writing this to show you a few things you can do to have #MoneyBliss in 2018.
1. Take an audit of your Finances. Look back to 2017, how much was your average monthly expenditure? If you don’t have a record of your finances in 2017, this might be difficult but you can make an estimate by subtracting how much was left from how much you earned each month last year.
2. Make a budget for the year and break it down into monthly budgets. This budget will guide you to know what areas of your life you need to allocate more resources to. It will help you track your expenditures and also help you know how much you need to make to fund all your estimated expenses for the year.
If you don’t know how to make a budget, take my free course on #MoneyBlissBudgeting here: https://goo.gl/RjqT9o
You will also get the #MoneyBlissPlanner for free after the course.
3. Get a side hustle. Now that you know your salary can’t fund your expenses, how about solving problems around you that can generate extra income? Let me give you some suggestions.
A. Do you know you can make money from right in your neighbourhood?
Do you know that with the number of people you’re surrounded with, you can make some cool extra cash?
Why not look for an everyday need that makes your neighbours take trips to the shopping mall and sell to them. You would have taken the stress of going to the mall off them and in turn, earned profits from doing that. Just know that where there are people, there are business opportunities.
B. Learn a new skill. Look for a problem people desperately need to solve and learn the skills to help them solve it. For example, Web design, Social media marketing and management, Digital marketing, Content creation etc. These skills are in high demand. Why not take this first quarter to learn them and start earning from the second quarter.
C. Sell something. The new economy is controlled by producers and salespeople. You must own a product or service one to survive in the coming years. So, create or find a hot selling product to sell. Note the word HOT, something people already want not what you want to introduce to them.
4. Do not spend any kobo if it’s not necessary. We all have cravings and wants but in face of the realities, you need to manage your resources smarter. Don’t buy everything you’re introduced to. Avoid spending on frivolities and be prudent.
After all said and done, don’t forget to save for the rainy days.
I’ll be sharing more on this with experts in different fields in Money Bliss Academy. Be part of this Community and learn how to win with your Finances. Join here: https://goo.gl/GTfZry
Also, get a copy of Money Bliss Book here: https://goo.gl/fn6TBV and learn the secrets to securing your future today.
In all you do, I wish you success.
Till I come your way again,
iAM Robor-Bliss, Owisi
Founder, Money Bliss Academy
ARE YOU EATING YOUR TOMORROW TODAY?
Last week, I talked about financial planning. Today I want to ask you a simple question. CAN YOUR FUTURE AFFORD YOUR CURRENT FINANCIAL LIFESTYLE?
This is a story of Ade my friend. He is a young man with big dreams. He got a high-paying job almost immediately after he graduated from the university. He was earning a good salary and living in a big apartment which cost 30% of his annual salary. His car was awesome, he spent another 15% of his salary on fuel and the rest was spent on the upkeep of his family.
Two years later, he lost his job and all attempts to get another job didn’t yield positive results.
With nothing to fall back on, he sold his car three months later at a ridiculous price and had to withdraw his children from the expensive school they attended.
Life is not fair you may think, but this has happened to a lot of people so much like Ade; over and over again. The problem is we don’t learn from other people’s experiences until we get the same results.
Now let me ask you again; CAN YOUR FUTURE AFFORD YOUR CURRENT FINANCIAL LIFESTYLE?
I once asked a young man I counseled this simple question; Why have you not been saving? He responded thus.
Sir, you know I have to feed my family, pay rent, fuel my car and on and on he continued. I smiled and asked him to write out the exact amount he spends on each of the things he listed and he did. After that, I discovered that his car alone consumed 35% of his monthly salary. I will not go into all the other details but I told him to sell the car without thinking twice and buy a smaller one.
He was shocked. How can I sell my SUV? What will people say? That car is so comfortable, it makes my life easy he continued. I smiled and said, I agree that the car is good but it’s a big liability to you. It’s taking too much and not bringing anything back. If you can monetize the image it gives you then it’s okay.
Ladies and gentlemen, some of us have lived a financial lifestyle that our future can’t afford. That you can afford something now does not mean you should buy it. If you’ve lived a lifestyle of spending all you earn, it is time to #GetSmarterWithMoney. Shed all the excess weight off and channel your finances to more productive and profitable ventures so as to secure your tomorrow.
I’m not saying you should not live a good life but all I want you to answer is; Can your future afford it?
Why live large now at the expense of tomorrow. Do you not know that your income should be divided into 3 major parts? If you don’t know, look for the post with #GetSmarterWithMoney where I talked about the S.I.E Trinity (Save, Invest, Expend).
I just want you to learn from the mistakes Ade made. Bring your cost to the barest minimum and invest the rest for a secured future.
Don’t be afraid of what people will say. Sell off your liabilities and or turn them into investments. Your fancy car can do Uber too. That your expensive shore collections can be sold on OLX and the funds used to buy bitcoin. The list goes on and on.
The bottom line is, do not eat your future today because it is sweet, the taste will be so bitter tomorrow.
Till I come your way again,
iAM Robor Bliss, Owisi
Founder, Getting Smarter With Money
How to Plan your Finances like a Date!
I didn’t know how to woo a girl when I was in school but somehow, I met this pretty girl with some challenges. I helped her through them, encouraged her and provided a shoulder to lean on. And soon we were in love or should I say we were infatuated?
Anyways, we shared some good feelings towards each other and I started feeling and acting like her boyfriend. I cared for her like the younger sister I never had.
So I planned a surprise treat to take her out to an eatery and show her I’m the right one. It was one of the best new eateries in the heart of Ebeano Estate, Coal City but I could not afford two good meals. Even after saving for a month, but Robor doesn’t give up.
Gosh, I was out to impress and make her feel good. I planned this event for close to a month, saving and planning. I remember some of my biggest fears were, will she let me love her? What if she doesn’t agree to go out with me? I was scared but I took the step. Asked her to lunch and she accepted.
I wore my best shirt, and we embarked on the August trip to wonderland. It was magical. That was the first time I asked a lady out, a beautiful one at that.
We arrived and I asked, what will you like to have? She was shy or she wanted me to choose for her so she said ANYTHING. Well, thank God she did cause I had planned my expenses. I immediately suggested my plan and she accepted.
Like a big boy, I bought the plate of fried rice, big chicken and coleslaw by the side with a bottle of Coca-Cola to step it down. I took it with so much pride and delivered to her where she was majestically seated. Guess what, I only bought meat pie and a bottle of Sprite for myself.
We were eating and it was her turn to impress. She took the knife and fork and started eating slowly, I was just smiling and rehearsing my speech.
Now here is what got me angry, she ate the rice and was battling with the chicken because she was trying to cut it with the knife and fork and she wasn’t getting it. She gave up on it cause she didn’t want to embarrass me or herself. She then took the small part she could and left the main meat. I was flabbergasted! How could you waste my Hard Saved money like that while I’m having just pie. I didn’t tell her though but murmured in my mind. I asked nicely, are you sure you’re okay, she said yes.
So I asked the waiter for a bowl of water and washed my hands. I did Justice to the meat and at intervals, gave her some pieces.
Financial Planning Lessons from this Story!
The rest is history. We only dated for a few semesters before another dude took her away.
I told you this story to share with you how valuable PLANNING is. In this case FINANCIAL PLANNING. I had to plan with the resources I have to fulfil my goal. I deprived myself of some things to save up for one single date.
Let me ask you. What are you planning for? Know that nothing just happens. Often times we live our lives as it comes, one day at a time but we forget that things will not always be same. You won’t always have this strength.
What are your #FINANCIALPLANS for TODAY, TOMORROW, next MONTH/YEAR or the next 5 YEARS?
2017 is almost over. Have you started planning what you want to do in 2018?
Hey, I’m not talking about new year resolutions. I’m talking about GOALS and More importantly, #FINANCIALGOALS.
How much do you want to earn, save, invest and spend in 2018?
Once you start with how much you want to earn or save in 2018, you will get an idea of the rest.
In 2017, some of us lived our lives to impress like my girlfriend. You ate with fork and knife when you didn’t know how thereby not maximizing your meat. Don’t let 2018 be like that.
Instead, learn how to do it or jejely wash your hands and devour all 2018 has for you. If you don’t get my rhetorics, lemme explain a little. Don’t fake it, LEARN it.
Don’t be ashamed to ask questions. If someone is getting results you want, ask them. Don’t be PROUD and EMPTY.
Plan your 2018 Finances starting today. Start asking how you can increase your net worth and like my humble self in the story save for your projects. Deprive yourself of some immediate enjoyment for the good of tomorrow.
I want you to take 2018 as a dating project with this fine babe like my wife or this pink lips handsome guy like John Obidi that you can’t wait to meet. Remember you’re going to foot the bills, so start planning and saving for it. I hope I make sense? If yes, start now with your financial planning for 2018.
You know I value you right?
Yes! I do. #iValueYou
Till I come your way again,
iAM Robor Bliss, Owisi